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Archive for the ‘The Reading Journals’ Category

               for James Lee Jobe

Remember when we used to be the river?
It occurs to me that we are time.
Look what a fantastic place love finds
When we open ourselves above these empires
Of dust that once were sleep or weapons,
Ocean after ocean that we ran toward.

How could we know the way?
Look at the stars. What are they doing?
Our children rushing past in an insomnia
Our soul demands, so that we never lose
Our place in this river.  And then, suddenly,
They are gone. So much music they are.

We remain the river. Kind of  an ivory labyrinth
Borges spoke of when he was a river.
The images continue to occupy us
Even as we move through the great
Corridors of the heart. We find ourselves
Still breathing. We become an epitaph.

D.R. Wagner

Medusa’s Kitchen
(more poems by D.R. Wagner)

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dantesaid

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How Can It Be?

How can it be that you are there
Quiet, hidden and at peace
In the long still silence of the monastery cell
And then, joyful and clamorous
In the eternal songs
Of thunder, waterfall and fire?

How can it be
That, from the first beginnings and beyond,
Your gentle love
Fills to teeming fullness and repletion
The atom and the universe, unceasingly?

How can it be that you gaze
Upon my frailty
Only to love
So deeply what you see?

Daniel Kerdin
Of Poetry and God (2016)

jean-francois-millet-the-angelus-l-angelus

L’Angélus de Millet

Conveyed there by an artist’s hand
In peasant garb, at harvest time,
A couple in the twilight stand
As church bells, in the distance, chime
And ring out to remind the pair
And others who are at their toil
That here and now is time for prayer
And time to leave the busy soil
And so the tools of work are laid
Aside, while labour turns to rest,
And there the Angelus is prayed
Her hands are joined, his cap is pressed
Against his breast, their heads are bowed
The sun sets silent as they say
The reverential words aloud
Which they repeat, this hour, each day:
An angel’s pledge do they avow?
Or does some grief inflame their prayer?
The basket holds its secret now
The unseen coffin, hidden there.

Daniel Kerdin
Of Poetry and God (2016)

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“Human nature is so faulty that it can resist any amount of grace and most of the time it does … It is easy for any child to pick out the faults in the sermon on his way home from church every Sunday. It is impossible for him to find out the hidden love that makes a man, in spite of his intellectual limitations, his neuroticism, his own lack of strength, give up his life to the service of God’s people, however bumblingly he may go about it … It is what is invisible that God sees and that the Christian must look for. Because he knows the consequences of sin, he knows how deep you have to go to find love … To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness. Charity is hard and endures.

Flannery O’Conner
Letter to Cecil Dawkins in Pilgrim Souls: A Collection of Spiritual Autobiographies, ed. Amy Mandelker and Elizabeth Powers (1999), 539-40.

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isaiah-32-2

1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,
and as for princes, they shall rule in justice.

2 And a man shall be as in a hiding-place from the wind,
and a covert from the tempest —
as by the watercourses in a dry place,
as in the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

Isaiah 32:1-2

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“I began to mentally climb the imagined staircase. I climbed and I climbed to who knows where. I climbed with my shadow in front of me, broken by alternate vertical and horizontal planes, leading me somewhere.

Thus I climbed up through passages of heaven
or I climbed up through the tunnels of hell
or I climbed through here or there —
I am not sure for yet I cannot tell.
Shadows on the stairs followed my feet
I heard nothing else but footsteps and heartbeats.

Whenever or wherever I saw staircases, I thought they were meant for me to climb.” (p. 36)

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?: Inside my Austic Mind (2008)
HowCanITalk

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Now available from Lulu Press,
JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

TRANSFIGURATION

BEAL-Transfiguration-Cvr2016r

“Jane’s perspective, from being an international midwife and a talented writer, gives rise to the absolutely beautiful poems contained in this little book. She incorporates sweetly the people she has served in her birth practice and travels. She also teaches us some midwifery along the way! Jane’s great faith in our Lord adds so much to this labor-of-love volume. I highly recommend this book. It should be in the possession of all midwives and mothers.”

Jan Tritten
Editor of Midwifery Today
Author of Birth Wisdom, Vol. 1 & 2

“Birth is sacred experience: a time when the formless takes form.  In Jane Beal’s new book, Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems, we are taken through beautiful poetic form, closer to the spirit of birth. We feel both joy and grief. But who are we to question the ways of the spirit? As much as we try to understand birth, its mystery remains a miracle – and that is what draws us into Transfiguration.”

Cathy Daub
President of BirthWorks International
Author of Birthing in the Spirit

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